According to a recent study by the Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA), brands are struggling to collect and comprehend big data, to gauge the success of their marketing efforts and to make smart marketing plans, going forward.
This survey of senior marketing executives from large corporations was geared at gaining a greater understanding of how practices are evolving in these areas: data collection and usage; marketing measurement and ROI; and traditional-digital marketing integration.
Interestingly, three major challenges emerged:
- Brands are intimidated by big data. 29 percent reported that their marketing departments had little big data to look at, while 39 percent indicated that the data that they were gathering was insufficient, or already outdated. On top of that, marketers in the study admitted they are less likely to gather digital data than traditional marketing data.
- Digital integration is key, but how do we measure success? 51 percent of those surveyed are using mobile ads, but only a mere 17 percent are tying them to any sort of financial metric. Of the 85 percent using social networking accounts in their marketing efforts, only a small fraction (14 percent) attach them to financial metrics.
- ROI is often mentioned… but rarely understood. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of respondents defined ROI as a measure of their audience share. 28 percent base their marketing budgets on “gut instincts.” Remarkably, more than half (57 percent) don’t consider ROI in their planning at all.
Clearly, critical insights are being lost or ignored by many brands because of a chronic inability to gather and analyze big data.
Sure, they’re tired of missing out on these insights—and the impact these insights have on marketing planning and success measurement. But, the learning curve and the sheer weight of the information available continue to intimidate marketing teams into inertia.
Unfortunately, consumers are going to leave behind any brand that refuses to dig in . . . and the gap between companies that “do” use big data and those that “don’t” is only going to get wider. As technologies continue to evolve –becoming faster, more versatile and cheaper than ever before –big data’s role will continue to swell and consumers and retailers will begin interacting across an even wider array of channels both on- and off-line.
More and more, your customers expect a seamless experience no matter where they’re interacting with you. That mean you need to know:
- what they’re saying about what they need and want
- what they’re saying about you (and your competitors)
- what they expect from you
- what kinds of experiences they’ve had with you already, and
- how all those factors are working together to build (or jeopardize) your business.
In short, it’s time to embrace the omnichannel revolution. Marketing success increasingly depends on weaving together all the different components currently expanding the frontiers of digital marketing. It depends on gathering big data, analyzing big data and then, acting on those results in real-time. And it depends on combining all this –the “science” of marketing — with creative expressions of branding, positioning and go-to-market campaigns.